Monday, May 9, 2011

Panama City Beach Restaurant Reviews

I will separate my race report for the 2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon into three parts.  The first part will be a review of the restaurants where we ate during our four days in Panama City Beach.  The second part will review the venue, The Boardwalk Beach Resort hotel.  The last part will review the triathlon, including pre and post-race festivities.

Susan and I arrived on Wednesday, May 4th for the 2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon in Panama City Beach, Florida scheduled for Saturday.  During our stay we ate lunch or dinner at several area restaurants.  Here is a brief review of each restaurant and some images of our meals and the surroundings. 

Shortly after arriving in PCB on Wednesday Susan needed a seafood fix so, we headed to Hurt's Seafood for an early dinner.  We had a dozen Cajun baked oysters.  Susan had fried shrimp and grouper, and fries and I had grilled Mahi-Mahi, coleslaw and potatoes.  Susan really liked her meal.  My meal was good too, but not up to the standards that I've become accustomed to.  Susan's a really good cook.  I was distracted by the numerous flies that tormented me as we ate inside.  The stench of the dumpster when we drove up was kind of a letdown too.  The wait staff was very nice.  Hunt's Seafood is a long-time local joint and was packed when we left at around 5pm.

Hunt's Seafood restaurant in St. Andrews
Our Cajun baked Oysters
My Mahi-Mahi, Coleslaw and New Potatoes
Susan's fried Grouper and Shrimp
On Thursday Susan and I took a drive around PCB before eating lunch at J. Michael's restaurant. Susan had the fried shrimp and I had the chicken and sausage jambalaya.  We stopped there because the parking lot already had lots of cars and it was only 11:30am.  Our stomachs are still on Atlanta time.  The interior is decorated with car tags, guns, dollar bills, and surf boards.  Just like Hunt's, it was packed when we left.

J. Michael's restaurant in Panama City Beach
The ceiling inside J. Michael's
My Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Susan's fried Shrimp
Chip arrived on Thursday.  That evening the three of us went to Montego Bay for dinner.  Chip had Parmesan oysters as an appetizer and crawfish e’toufee.  Susan had a garden salad and seafood gumbo.  I had Calypso Mahi-Mahi with grilled pineapple, coleslaw and rice pilaf. I think we all liked the food.  My Mahi-Mahi was the best fish I've had so far.  The grilled pineapple was good too.  The coleslaw was good but not as good as J. Michael’s.

Montego Bay restaurant in Panama City Beach
Chip's Parmesan Oysters
My grilled Mahi-Mahi and Pineapple with Rice Pilaf
Susan's Seafood Gumbo after she mixed it up.
Chip's partially eaten Crawfish E'toufee
Richard and his family arrived early on Friday morning.  After we checked in at registration we all walked the short distance to Pineapple Willy’s for lunch.

Pineapple Willy's restaurant in Panama City Beach
Pineapple Willy's entrance
Seating along the pier at Pineapple Willy's
The view of Pineapple Willy's from the pier
Brent, Susan, Chip, Melissa and Richard (l-r)
The view of the beach from Pineapple Willy's
Susan's Shrimp Po-Boy
My grilled Mahi-Mahi BLT
Melissa's Carribean Chicken Salad
Richard's Oyster Po-Boy
Richard's half-eaten Po-Boy
Richard enjoying his Oyster Po-Boy
On Friday evening Chip's wife Jonna arrived.  We all went to dinner at the Boatyard, near Capt. Anderson's.  The Boatyard is a very nice place to eat.  Located on the bay the restaurant has white linen napkins so, you'll pay a little more to eat there.  Eating at the Boatyard was the guy's way of saying thanks to our families for the boredom they would endure the following day.  Apparently, being the spouse of a triathlete isn't all roses!  There was an athlete's pasta dinner scheduled that evening at the hotel, but the wives vetoed that by Melissa saying "someone would be shot" if we had to endure two tri dinners, and Susan said that "she would load the gun for Melissa".  Jonna, being the angel that she is didn't vote, but I did notice a wicked grin when the anticipated outcome was reached.

The Boatyard restaurant
A view of the Boatyard from the docks
Chip's Bow Tie Pasta
Jonna's Shrimp and Grits
Melissa's Snow Crabs and Corn
Susan's Crab Cakes with Beans and Rice
Brent's fried Oysters
My pan seared Tuna with Seaweed salad
Richard's dinner
In summary, the Boatyard was clearly the nicest place where we ate dinner.  The building was nice and the food was very good but you'll pay for it.  Pineapple Willy's was the best value for lunch.  The service was great.  The view of the beach and quality of the food were very good too.  Richard r-r-really liked his oyster Po-Boy.  J. Michael's had a good lunch.  We also enjoyed the decor.  Outside J. Michael's restaurant isn't as nice as it sits at the intersection of two major streets.  Montego Bay is a small restaurant located closer to The Boardwalk Beach Resort hotel.  The interior decor is uninteresting but it has good food.  There is no outdoor seating.  I'm afraid that the last on my list has to be Hunt's Seafood.  I thought the food was mediocre and just can't get past all the flies.

See more images from our trip on Picasa.